The Chateau That Inspired Herge
Jacques Hurault, a good servant of the French monarchy, bought the land at the beginning of the XVIth century. The château was then built by one of his descendants in 1634. Martellange, an architect of the Society of Jesus, gave the plans of the edifice that is typical of the Louis XIII period. The 3 floor central body is flanked by 2 lowest wings ending with 2 pavilions covered with a 4 side dome roofing whose aspect is a bit masive. These domes themselves are crowned with lanterns. The windows are topped with frontons. On the main façade, 12 niches, presenting Roman Emperors busts, separate the windows on the first level. The bonding of stone in horizontal strips does not break the slightly cold monotony of the façade. The Classical Style here is quite homogeneous. The stone from Bourré has the particularity of whitening and hardening with time, giving the château its immaculate appearance.
The inside offers intact furniture and it might well be one of the most complete décors of this time in France. In the King's Bedroom, elegant wooden panellings display fine allegorical scenes by Jean Mosnier, an artist from Blois, who also painted the Adventures of Don Quixote at Cheverny. In the Guards Room, a magnificent tapestry tells the story of Ulysses. It was woven after Simon Vouet's drawings. A rare document can be seen In a gallery leading to the library. It is signed by George Washington and refers to an ancestor of the present proprietor who participated in the American Revolutionary War. An equestrian statue of the first President of the United States is presented on a chest of drawers made by the prestigious cabinet-maker Riesener. Hergé in his comic books "The Adventures of Tintin" was inspired by the Château of Cheverny. Captain Haddock's residence "Markinspike Hall" (Le Château de Moulinsart in French) is almost the same except for both additional wings on each side. An interesting permanent exhibition features Hergé's works. The Queen Mother of England visited Cheverny in 1963. The building was listed a historic monument in 1926.
Captain Haddock's Marlinspike Hall. In reality: Cheverny.
The King's bedroom.
The Guards Room.